Improve Your Public Speaking
For many, public speaking is a top fear. There is something about standing up and speaking in front of other people that can seem downright terrifying to some, while others appear to effortlessly control the mic and charm every audience. The reality is that public speaking is a skill. It isn’t something anyone is born being good at, but rather it something to be worked at and improved upon. It is a skill anyone can master. Below are some of the tips we have compiled to help you hone in on mastering your public speaking skills.
The first step is the obvious step–practice. Speak while looking at yourself in the mirror, or better yet, practice while recording yourself. This allows you to go back and critique yourself. Pay attention to your movement. Are you giving out the right information? Are you talking too fast or too slow? Remember, practice is not meant to make perfect, but it does allow you to improve so you more prepared when it is go time. If you have a speech, or a presentation to give, practice it in full at least three times before presenting. You can also practice in front of a spouse, family member, or friend to receive constructive criticism on presentation and content.
Know your audience
Know who your target audience is so that when you are speaking to them, you are speaking for them and not for yourself. Know what you can say to peak their interest and keep them captivated. Learning more about your audience allows you to mold your speech and main message to fit them. Sprinkle in nuggets that relate to your audience’s everyday reality.
Use your personality to add a personal touch
When speaking, remember that you are not a talking robot. Let your personality shine! If you are funny, add some jokes in. If you have a personal anecdote, share it. Being personal with an audience elevates your credibility to your listeners, and makes you more interesting to listen to.
Pay attention to how you open and close
The beginning and end of what you say while speaking in public are crucial. These are the two pieces of information that your audience will retain the most. It is a simple concept. When you open, tell the audience what you are going to tell them. After you’ve given them the heart of the message, tell them what you’ve just told them in a quick one to two sentence summary at the end. This way, your audience will walk away knowing exactly what you were trying to convey.